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Extension Update from Jenny Rees

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UPCOMING EVENTS:  
Sept. 18:  Crop Science Investigation (CSI), 5:00 p.m., RSVP jrees2@unl.edu or 402-440-4739
Sept. 19:  Cover Crop Field Day, 9am-1:30 p.m., 1.5 miles south HWY 136 on 643A Ave., RSVP 402-274-4755
Sept. 19:  Non-Profit Boot Camp, Phelps Co. Ag Center, Holdrege, 4:30-8:30 p.m., RSVP 402-374-2929http://communityvitality.unl.edu/nonprofitbootcamp
Sept. 20:  Non-Profit Boot Camp, Jefferson Co. Fairgrounds, 4:30-8:30 p.m., RSVP 402-374-2929http://communityvitality.unl.edu/nonprofitbootcamp
Sept. 20:  Grazing Cover Crops Field Day, 10am-3pm, ¼ mile East of Hawk (N St) on 130TH Road,  Kearney RSVP:  308-743-2565
Sept. 25:  Cover Crop Field Day, 1-4 p.m., Rogers Memorial Farm at 18630 Adams Street, Lincoln
Sept. 30:  Forestry Field Day, 9am-4pm, Horning Demonstration Forest near Plattsmouth, NE
Oct. 2:  Paul Hay Retirement Party, 3:00 – 6:00 pm (presentation 5:15 p.m.), Gage County Extension Office in Beatrice.
Oct. 5:  Non-Profit Boot Camp, Former ARDC near Mead, 4:30-8:30 p.m., RSVP 402-374-2929http://communityvitality.unl.edu/nonprofitbootcamp
Oct. 28:  From Recipe to Reality, UNL Food Processing Center, RSVP:  Jill Gifford at 402-472-2819 orjgifford1@unl.edu
Nov. 13:  So You Inherited a Farm, Now What? and Land Management Meeting, 4-H Bldg York.
Nov. 16:
  York County Corn Grower Banquet
Dec. 7:  Farmers and Ranchers College:  Dr. David Kohl, 1-4 p.m., Bruning Opera House, Bruning
Dec. 12:  Grain Marketing Seminar, 4-H Building York
Jan. 10-11:  York Ag Expo, Holthus Convention Center, York
Jan. 11:  Crop Production Clinic, North Platte
Jan. 16:  Crop Production Clinic, Norfolk
Jan. 18:  Crop Production Clinic, Lincoln
Jan. 24-25:  Crop Management Conference, Kearney

Farm Finance Clinic Sites and Dates To sign up for a clinic or to get more information, call Michelle at the Nebraska Farm Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

It was great to see so many people at Husker Harvest Days last week!  Our theme surrounded research-based ways we’ve found for producers to consider that will hopefully in the long run help Strengthen Nebraska’s Agricultural Economy.  I also had many great conversations and questions-will address some of the questions this week.  Ultimately, many of these questions we tried to address in this week’s UNL CropWatch edition at http://cropwatch.unl.edu.

Cash rent questions have begun again and one of the booths dealt with that as well.  In this week’s CropWatch at http://cropwatch.unl.edu is an article entitled “cash rent by the numbers” which shows the latest USDA survey cash rents by county. 

I’ve also received some questions regarding expected Farm Bill payments.  Those numbers broken out by county and crop can be found at this specific link:   http://go.unl.edu/iegc.  All Farm Bill information can be found on Dr. Brad Lubben’s Farm Bill website at http://farmbill.unl.edu. 

Last week I shared about the yield loss, not to mention shatter loss, when harvesting soybeans below 13% moisture.  The next morning, a few colleagues and readers suggested also putting in an example showing how taking the dock between 13-14% moisture actually results in less profit loss than harvesting too dry.  So we added that in this week’s UNL CropWatch as well as an updated machinery article on adjusting your combine to harvest soybeans that still have green stems and yellow leaves.  Let’s look at a case in southeast Nebraska where a grower is selling soybeans yielding 75 bu/ac. Based on information from a local elevator, growers are docked for soybeans sold at over 13% moisture at the following rates:

13.1% to 13.5% moisture — 1.5% price dock
13.6% to 14% moisture — 3% price dock
14.1% to 14.5% moisture — 4.5% price dock
14.6% to 15% moisture — 6% price dock

Example 1.  If the grower were to sell beans at 13.8% moisture, they would be docked 3% of the selling price of $8.75/bu, reducing the actual price to $8.49 per bushel. Total income per acre would be:  75 bu/ac yield x $8.49/bu = $636.75 per acre gross

Example 2.  If the soybeans were harvested at 9% moisture, there would be 3.3 fewer bushels per acre to sell (4.4% of 75 bu/ac yield due to water loss):  75 bu/ac – 3.3 bu/ac =71.7 bu/ac yield x $8.75 = $627.38 per acre gross.

In this example it would be better to take a dockage for selling beans at 13.8% moisture than sell them at 9%. The difference is a positive gain of $9.37 per acre. In practice the grower would likely see an even greater benefit from selling beans at 13.8% moisture due to reduced shatter loss from 9% soybeans.

Soybean Desiccants:  Several people also asked about soybean desiccants and correct timing of this.  I learned this is in our Guide for Weed Management as well.  In the Guide, it lists Aim, Sharpen, and Gramoxone as the products for use and all three say to apply at 65% of pods turning brown.  The main reason people were asking appeared to be to dry out palmer plants in hopes of easier harvest.  Aim and Sharpen list a 3 day pre-harvest interval and at 65% brown pods, I’m unsure how quickly the herbicide products will affect weeds like palmer in comparison to the soybeans rapidly being ready to harvest, but it is an option to consider.

Speaking of palmer, I can’t remember if I’ve written this or not but have shared this with several farmers.  99% of the seed is viable going through the combine and the combine is a great distributor of the seed throughout the field.  If your field has palmer throughout it, there’s not a lot you can do to help reduce seed distribution.  If most of your palmer is in the end rows, you may wish to consider shredding or disking the endrows so that seed doesn’t go through the combine and be dispersed through your field.  Last year I also recommended planting bin-run wheat as an inexpensive cover crop to get the ground covered if the endrows were disked. 

Wheat vs. Cereal Rye for Palmer Reduction Study:  From my observations last year, those who planted wheat or cereal rye (or who planted crops no-till into wheat stubble), appeared to have less palmer than those who had soil exposed to light in April.  There was still palmer in those fields, but I have photos showing the differences in the same fields where palmer was worse in areas where soil was exposed vs. covered.  We know cereal rye has allelopathic affects, but I’m curious if it’s really that much better at helping reduce palmer vs. bin-run wheat.  Bin-run wheat is less expensive and doesn’t have the allelopathic effects when planting corn the following year.  So I’m looking for farmers interested in trying strips of wheat vs. rye and even vs. no cover where I could document any potential differences in palmer.  If you’re interested in working with me on this, please let me know at jrees2@unl.edu.

Phragmites in Waterways:  A number of people have also been asking about phragmites (also known as common reed) control in waterways.  The plant is considered a noxious weed in Nebraska.  Fall is a good time to control it as it is a perennial weed and the herbicide product would be translocated to the roots.  If there is any water in the waterway, pond, creek, etc., only a few products are labeled for application over water.  These products include Habitat and aquatic glyphosate products (not regular Roundup).  Our Twin Valley Area Management weed control group used Habitat successfully on the Republican and Blue Rivers and their tributaries but it is more costly.  Be sure to read and follow all label instructions for the product you choose to use.

Butterflies:  I should have mentioned this last week as my yard is daily covered with them, but the butterflies we are seeing again are painted lady butterflies.  They can be seen gathering nectar on taller flowering plants and I’ve also seen them on linden trees in particular.  They should be migrating soon.

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